Remember how we attacked our vole problem here? And how we cleared out all of the rocks to add in our new dirt? And remember how I told you when I was describing our style that we either a) research something to death or b) fly by the seat of our pants? Well…this is a fly by the seat of our pants story. If we had followed step A, there would probably BE no story to share.
During the rock removal and dirt leveling process, we decided the best course of action was to pile the rock in our driveway. We planned to put it back in after we did our dirt work to save both time and money. Mostly money, rarely does DIY save time, but rock we already own is way cheaper than rock we would have to buy and haul.
Once we had all the rock out and laid down the landscaping cloth, we sat on the rock pile for a good week or so (there was rain, it was yucky weather, we generally didn’t want to deal with it) until just after Easter. Our house guests had gone and we decided that the sunny conditions meant we should go ahead and tackle this project.
We discovered that there was a LOT of dirt in our rock pile…quite a bit more than we had originally bargained for. On our first attempt at dealing with the rock pile, we thought if we took the hose and nozzle and sprayed the rocks, that the dirt would nicely wash away and we would then be able to load the rocks back into the wheelbarrow, and lay them back in their bed. This was sure to take a bit of time, we reasoned, but be relatively easy, making our thrifty idea pay off big time while we sat on our front step sipping a lemonade and enjoying our vole free yard.
As you probably guessed, that attempt fell FLAT…There was too much dirt and it was taking us FOREVER to wash off each shovel full of dirt with the hose. There was almost literally a ton more dirt than we had bargained for. We abandoned the project after a few shovels full, and decided to go back to ignoring the rock pile for awhile.
While at work a few days later, Steve learned that a co-worker had a power washer. He decided to see if we could borrow it and spray off our rocks. This generally sounded like a bad idea, but we could think of no other options to clean the rocks and, being the stubborn folk we are, we really didn’t want to have gone through all the work of removing them if we were just going to have to do this again in the future (either putting back the dirty rock, or getting the dirty rock taken away and new rock delivered). Turns out, this WAS a bad idea. We made a HUGE muddy mess. It was faster than the hose method, but still really inefficient and MUCH MUCH dirtier.
Also, while performing this unscientific washing process, we discovered that when they re-roofed our house (a bad storm went through 5ish years ago, so we got a new roof out of the deal, score!) they threw piles of nails into the rock. Since our neighbors probably already hate us from the amount of mud that’s everywhere, we had to pick all the nails out so we didn’t pop anyone’s tires (including our own!).
Luckily, after about an half hour of this trainwreck process, Steve’s friends from St. Louis happened to stop by to see the house (and let us meeting their baby – who is somehow already 6 mos old!). This is what they were greeted with when they walked up….Hey, welcome to our new house…check out our mud! Let us hold your baby!
Mark, THANKFULLY, suggested that instead of this fail of a method, we put all the rocks in a wheel barrow, wash them and then get them out of the wheel barrow with the shovel. Figuring it couldn’t possibly get any worse, we decided to give this a try…and by we, I mean my dear husband took a go at this. It was by far the easiest method we tried, though I am dreading the arrival of our water bill this month.
We still have a little bit left that will need to get distributed into the beds, but overall, we are in MUCH better shape than we were pre-wheelbarrow method.
So help a girl out…what SHOULD we have done to painlessly wash off our rocks and return them to our landscaping? Or is there no painless way to do this and should we have just sucked it up and bought new rock? Don’t make me do post project research…
Linked up with a Bowl Full of Lemons!